To my old and new friends of the Shelby and Mansfield St. Peter’s communities:
I have so many things to say, so I will first start with a congratulations on bringing out in yourselves what high school sports is supposed to be about. Your two communities came together and showed nothing but dignity and class in a time in which we have so few examples of good-natured competition. I like to believe that you did that for me, but I know that both schools have great examples of staff pushing you to be open and embrace something bigger than yourselves, which both of your communities did on Saturday night. Pick your chins up and pat each other on the back. You have been taught well and if you continue to listen to the wisdom you will go far in life. As a long time educator and coach I bow my head to all of you and thank you for reminding me what I miss the most……..young people.
Thank you for the care letters and little notes that I received on Saturday and during my entire journey that is entering its fourth year. To my colleagues that never forgot me and call and check on me all the time, and check on my number one fan and caregiver and wife, thank you and I love you all!!!! To my family that made the event happen, especially my nieces and my sweet wonderful daughter Emily, Thank you! To Emily’s mother and grandmother, Thank you.
I hope you all understand that there is no medication that I take, and I take a lot, that gives me a feel good moment like what you all did Saturday night.
My journey is getting closer to to a major shift. When I receive my new liver, the doctors tell me that all my old sickness will go away, but I know that it will be just the beginning of a new journey. I am sure I will feel much better but there will continue to be many lifestyle changes. Part of what I hope everyone takes away from this weekend is the acronym NASH. Look it up if you do not know what it is. I certainly did not know what it was all about when I started my journey. All I heard was the word Cirrhosis and I thought, that’s not me. I then went to doctors and educated myself to learn that NASH has it roots in my genetics and that this form of liver disease has been working within my body for a very long time. I was surprised to learn that this is becoming more and more common. My fatherly advice is what one of my colleagues screamed at me when I was being stubborn: “Go see a doctor!” That advice might have saved my life from a sickness I knew nothing about.
Finally I would like to say Thank You for the financial support that you and your families sent our way. I saved this part to the end not because it is not important, it is! It will help our family bridge the gap we will need over the months to come, but just like the TV commercials say, the smiles, the prayers and the hugs on Saturday were priceless. Thank you all so much for the donations and keep those smiles, hugs and prayers coming! Since many of the donations were anonymous I have no knowledge of who I can send personal thank you notes to. Your homework assignment is an easy one. Please go home and hug your parents and tell them “Mr. Reith says thank you.”
Robert and Tressa Reith
Thank you to anyone and everyone who donated their time, cooking skills or who were able to donate to their financial needs on his transplant journey. The amount of help we received was overwhelming. We had so many people stepping up to help us with this event and we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.
Liver Transplant Journey
The Following is a post from the family of Bob Reith, who is a 1984 Shelby High School Alumnus and former St. Peters Teacher.
"In July of 2016, Bob had a liver biopsy that confirmed that he suffers from what they call NASH. It stands for NonAlcoholic SteatoHepatitis. The reports indicated that Bob was “genetically predisposed” to this illness and that he had had it for a long time. This NASH causes liver scarring. Liver scarring causes cirrhosis. Bob now has a full blown case of cirrhosis with all its unfortunate side effects. With the help of our doctors and other caregiver team members at Cleveland Clinic, Bob has been placed on the Liver Transplant List. That occurred officially on September 7, 2017. In the meantime, Bob has had one debilitating health struggle after another, causing him to decide that it’s time to leave the work he loves, which is teaching. The physical effects are difficult. Just as challenging -- in fact, maybe even more challenging -- are the memory and confusion problems caused by this disease."
Soup & Dessert Benefit
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Website donations are being managed by family friend, Albert Holtsclaw. All proceeds from the donations will be given to the family to cover additional expenses, including travel expenses and housing in Cleveland following the transplant.
If you have any questions about donation or anything else, please reach out using the contact information above or use the Contact Form below.
If you would like to leave letters or messages of support, you may also use the Contact Form below to do so.